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HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

 

Dear friends, family and colleagues,

The turbulent year of 2020 is coming to an end, and what a year it has been! A true roller coaster ride!
Despite the vicious pandemic, losses of loved ones, the ongoing destructive climate change, the devastating racist acts carried out in the US, in Denmark and elsewhere and the courageous global resistance against them (!), for me, personally,
there have also been 
magnificent moments to look back on.
I am grateful for that and choose to focus on these highlights in this newsletter.

My 2020 started off with a new exciting and challenging position as chairperson of The Danish Arts Foundation Grant Committee for the Visual Arts. It is a massive task, nevertheless hugely inspiring and insightful and I am happy to work with a fantastic team.


Several events were canceled or postponed, yet in 2020 I had the privilege of showing my work in a number of different occasions, like in the group show Astrid Holm & Co at Rønnebæksholm, the video screening Aftershocks at Charlottenborg and my current solo presentation at TIL VÆGS  in Copenhagen.

On top of that the 
We're Magic. We're Real - trilogy,  3 new and rather large "hair pieces" were all created in this crazy challenging year!
The works unexpectedly made the Danish national newspaper Information nominate me as "Artist of the year"!
Please find more info on the works below.

Next year is filled with more exciting stuff which I'm looking forward to sharing with you in 2021.

All the best wishes for you and your loved ones for the holiday season and for a bright and healthy new year!

See you in 2021! 


  We’re Magic.We’re Real

The We’re Magic. We’re real- trilogy is my most recent work.
It started off with an installation at Thorvaldsen’s Museum’s
comprehensive exhibition Face to Face.
The trilogy took place in 3 different venues in Copenhagen and all pieces
circulate around hair as a significant marker of identity within Pan African culture.
   Moreover, it serves as important ancestral material coupled with inherent notions of decolonial futurities.

 

WE'RE MAGIC.WE'RE REAL #1

8.March - 30.December 2020
















Photos by Thorvaldsen's Museum & Nikolaj Recke
 
Thorvaldsen's Museum, in partnership with the University of Copenhagen and Die Glyptothek in München, investigates the meaning and significance of the sculptural portrait in the comprehensive exhibition Face To Face.

Since antiquity, art and sculptural portraits have been a widespread medium for maintaining the memory of long-deceased ancestors. This was also the case in Thorvaldsen's time, but what do we do today, where the sculptural portraits play a much smaller role in our memory? 
We’re Magic. We’re Real #1 at Thorvaldsen’s Museum in Copenhagen, is filling an entire 18th century room with natural afro hair.

A simple but forceful gesture reminding us of Denmark’s involvement in the transatlantic enslavement trade. Thorvaldsen’s museum opened in 1848 to honor one of Denmark’s most celebrated sculptors Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844). However the fact that Thorvaldsen’s work was sponsored by one of the biggest slave owners in the former Danish West Indies is hardly ever mentioned. The installation presents a collective portrait of a people whose existence for the most has been written out of Western History.

By placing afro hair in this particular setting, the piece points to the historical and contemporary atrocities met by black people as well as to our strength, connectivity and ability to overcome.

WE'RE MAGIC.WE'RE REAL #2

The Carl Nielsen and Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen Foundation

Den Frie Udstillingsbygning ,Copenhagen
Sep-Oct 2020





Photo by Frida Gregersen & Anders Sune Berg
 

I am extremely honored to be one of four recipients of the prestigious Carl Nielsen and Anne Marie Carl Nielsen Prize 2020.
For the exhibition, on display from 11 September - 18 October, another “hair piece” was created in the form of a giant Afro; a large slowly rotating sphere (2 meters in diameter), constructed by artificial afro hair. As a symbol of resistance, liberation and empowerment, made especially visible by the 60s pan african civil rights movements, the sphere was hanging in the center of an overlit space with additional white glossy vinyl floor, generating an intense, vertigo-like atmosphere.

The world is on its knees at this very moment and we are at that stage in time of moving forward alternative narratives and visions.
The sculpture was shown in conjunction with two older video works; Black Bullets and The March (2012); the first one being projected onto the back wall in the next room, in order for the works to manifest an afrocentric axis through the space.

 

WE'RE MAGIC.WE'RE REAL #3

VEGA ARTS
Curated by Matthias Hvass Borello


VEGA Concert hall,Copenhagen
Premiere date TBA 




Stills from performance video by Rine Rodin, Trine Langkilde & Christian Brems
 
The last piece in the We're Magic. We're Real trilogy is a video performance, still in the making. The piece was planned to be a live act but due to the pandemic it was changed into a video piece.
Performers are conjoined by long braids, performing different choreographies and moving into different formations.
While the conjoined hair points to a shared existence, the performance refers to growth, connectivity and spirituality within the African diaspora.
I'm super excited to show the results when finished. Date TBA.


VEGA | ARTS is a new visionary initiative that connects Denmark's most important venue with ambitious and frontier - seeking contemporary art in a study of what artistic experiences the interfaces between the artistic fields and the audience can generate.
Over a one-year period (May 2019 - Fall 2020, affected by the Covid 19 pandemic ), VEGA | ARTS will include performances, installations, exhibitions, talks, workshops and thematic activities that, over an evening or weekend, connect contemporary art's hybrid and performative practices with the concert's intense, intimate and cultural spaces
WISHING YOU A HAPPY AND HEALTHY 2021!
JEANNETTE

 






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Jeannette Ehlers Studio · Nørrebro · Copenhagen 2200 · Denmark

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